‘Social butterfly’: Amerie Jo Garza’s parents remember their 10-year-old daughter

‘I don’t my want my daughter’s name tarnished by how she died, I prefer to remember how she lived,’ Amerie’s father said

Editor’s note: This article is part of a KSAT 12 special project Remembering the Victims of the Robb Elementary School.

You can’t hear pictures, but somehow, when you see one of Amerie Jo Garza, 10, you can almost hear her laughter.

Her infectious smile is on display in each of her photos. Her signature grin lets you know she was a happy child. But her family says there was another side to her. That’s why they would affectionately call her, “sassy pants.”

“She was always smiling, laughing, doing her own thing…making a mess,” said her stepmother, Viviana Granados.

Amerie Jo Garza, 10 (KSAT)

Like most 10-year-olds, Amerie also had a fascination with Play-Doh and slime.

Amerie was also outgoing. Her father, Alfred Garza, said it was a quality she inherited from him.

“I’m very quick-witted and just very funny, humorous. I like to make people laugh. I like to see people smile. Me and her, we constantly roast each other…just daddy, daughter, you know, little things here and there, jabs here and there. She liked to scare me, and I like to scare her. We play jokes on each other,” said Alfred Garza.

Amerie was also the life of the party.

“She was a social butterfly. She liked to connect with everybody…she was always the one who approached the other person,” added Alfred Garza.

Find more stories of victims here.

. (KSAT)

About the Authors:

Stephania Jimenez is an anchor on The Nightbeat. She began her journalism career in 2006, after graduating from Syracuse University. She's anchored at NBC Philadelphia, KRIS in Corpus Christi, NBC Connecticut and KTSM in El Paso. Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephania considers Texas home. Stephania is bilingual! She speaks Spanish.

Alex Trevino is a video editor at KSAT who works on the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.